Gamefront: Weekly Network Update 46 (week 46, 2011) - News - FileFront News Posted by: Danny on 11-21-2011 @ 16:30
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Here it is the 46th version of the Weekly Gamefront Network News Update, the news part of the update covers the news side of the Network and the Gamefront Main site over the past week. There has been a fair bit of news from the Main site including a lot of trailers, reviews, previews and a lot more. This week there are lots of trailers, as well as reviews and more. This week brings even more news from various games as well as reviews, a few trailers, as well as a lot of news from Minecraft and even a Marriage Proposal too apparently! More news can be found from Gamefront News - Here
We would love to hear any suggestions that you have; if you see something that you would like to be added to the Weekly Network Update, or you have any suggestions that you think may improve the Network Update then simply drop me an email at Danny[at]filefront[dot]com (please put "Network Update" as the subject though ).
Also If you like the Network Update please feel free write a comment as I would love to hear any critism, or support (constructive though please as this is the only way that I know how good or bad the insider is and it would help me to improve this further). Also I should mention that the comments section is not for complaining about the bugs of the network sites, most of these we do know about and are with the Break.com Tech Team , also again this is not the place for comments about the bugs, I myself do not have the ability or the knowledge to fix them, although you can use our forums to post your comments here - http://forums.filefront.com/filefront-com-help-center-1272/
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Gamefront News: A Marriage Proposal at Minecon 2011
During the closing ceremonies for Minecon 2011, Mojang’s Lydia ‘MinecraftChick’ Winters had a little surprise for everyone in attendance, but especially two specific people.
In the guise of a giveaway of a “one-of-a-kind” Jones Soda bottle, Winters called Asia Ramirez and Matt Dunn to the stage as the randomly chosen winners. However, once they reached the stage, Winters handed the microphone to Matt, who took a knee and handed Ramirez the Jones Soda bottle. On the label was the Minecraft diamond and the words “Will you marry me?” Luckily, she said yes.
It was kind of a neat moment, and one that could likely only take place at an indie event like this one. I can’t imagine that EA would interrupt the Battlefield 4 intro at E3 next year so someone could propose.
In the free Versus Booster Map Pack for Gears of War 3 that is being unloaded for Thanksgiving next week, you’ll get the Bullet Marsh map, which is a reimagining of an old Gears 1 map. In this dark and brooding map, you can destroy an old generator that keeps the place lit up, and that will set the nasty Krill on folk who are left in the dark. Sounds epic.
Here we have a video flythrough of this map. It’s looking pretty good these days.
Battlefield 3‘s Back to Karkand Pack is coming in early December, and it includes the Strike at Karkand map, which is set in a city and has tanks and stuff and is generally ridiculous. Or at least it looks pretty absurd from where I’m sitting. Watch this.
It’s been a rocky few weeks for Call of Duty Elite. And when I say “rocky,” I mean it’s been totally not working. It’s all be very sad for everyone.
But hopefully they’ll have it up again in the near future. And it’s not just me that is hoping that. Activision VP of production Daniel Suarez tells G4 they’re aiming for a December 1 relaunch of the service.
They kind of have to bear with us while we bring this all back up, but for us it’s literally ‘Give us those couple weeks, we’re giving those to you for free and come December 1 the goal is that we’ll have everything up and running.
That is what we in the industry would call “about time.” They believe, of course, that all your Modern Warfare 3 stats will be there and ready to go when the service is.
“Aftershock” is a recurring feature column on Game Front. We take games we’ve already reviewed and give them a sober second look once the post-launch dust has settled.
Check out Ross’ 92/100 review of Uncharted 3.
I love Uncharted 2. Just love it. Not only was it the best game of 2009, but it’s also one of the best games ever made. Its combination of epic set pieces and insane pacing has never been seen anywhere else, and its storytelling is just about as good as is possible in our chosen medium.
You don’t just travel along with Nathan Drake on this insane adventure to Shangri La; you feel every hit he takes. Despite being third person, Uncharted 2 is as immersive an experience as they come. When it came out, the game had a profound impact on me. I Picked up the game at 10 in the morning on release day and sat in front of my TV all day until I had finished it. I loved it so much.
I say this as a preface to my comments on Uncharted 3, because I want you to know where I’m coming from. I want you to know what this franchise means to me. Know that it is with a heavy heart that I call Uncharted 3 a supreme disappointment.
I have an on-going love/hate relationship with the Assassin’s Creed series, so each time a new game comes out, I wonder if it will inflict me with murderous boredom or surprise me by deserving a permanent position on my games shelf.
In the case of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, it’s a little of both.
That’s mostly because Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is basically the same game as Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. In fact, they’re so similar that the large majority of features on hand in AC:R can be found in my review from this time last year for AC:B.
On the plus side, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood was easily the best game of the three to come out up until last year. It added a lot to the core game’s concept — open world Prince of Persia with murders — while improving on a lot of the niggling issues that have always been present in Assassin’s Creed games: namely, that they move slowly and are annoying to play.
DICE is working on another PC patch for Battlefield 3 to further refine the experience, the developer reported on the official Battlefield 3 blog.
The patch is coming next week for PC players, sometime shortly thereafter for console players after the patch clears certification from Sony and Microsoft. It’ll include a number of improvements as well as deal with some cheaters, apparently:
You’ll see improved polish, stability, weapons balancing, squad control functionality, user interface enhancements, and several feature enhancements that address feedback the community has provided to date – plus we’re removing the so called “negative mouse acceleration” that some of you have experienced.
Regarding cheating and boosting, we continue to analyze data to identify and hold accountable (ban, wipe stats) players that cheat or boost. We’ve received questions about what to do when faced with unsportsmanlike conduct in Battlefield 3 – the best course of action is to click the warning sign next to their profile name in Battlelog, or head to the EA Help Desk and report your issue. These leads will enable us to follow up on the report.
Black Friday is coming up this week, but you don’t have to get out there early to take advantage of some deals. Amazon is offering up some Black Friday Week deals on PC downloads right now. The deal is huge; they say there are over 150 games on sale. The highlights:
The Witcher 2: $16
Might & Magic Heroes VI: $24.99
Tropico 4: 19.99
Driver: San Francisco: $24.99
Cities in Motion: $7.99
Mount & Blade: $7.04
The First Templar: $14.99
Dungeons: The Dark Lord: $14.99
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim might be on-pace to pull down $450 million worldwide for its launch, but lots of players are finding the game is a buggy experience. The latest issue seems to be limited to PS3 players and is related to game saves as they increase in size — players in Bethesda’s official Skyrim forums are reporting that as their game saves get bigger, Skyrim’s framerate starts to suffer.
As some users in the forums are pointing out, game saves generally don’t get up larger than a megabyte or two. Skyrim players are seeing saves getting up to 5MB, however, and apparently around that time, the framerate starts to suffer pretty significantly, and interactions with NPCs stop working or become intermittent. Basically, it’s a game-breaking bug.
What’s worse is the possibility that this sort of thing isn’t news to Bethesda. Similar bugs were reported by Playstation 3 players with Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, although Skyrim is supposed to be built on Bethesda’s entirely new Creation engine, rather than Fallout’s Gamebryo.
So it’s weird that this wasn’t announced earlier, like, before the game came out, but that’s OK, I guess.
The deal is that if you buy Saints Row: The Third on PS3 and redeem your online pass for it any time in the next 90 days, you will get a free downloadable copy of Saints Row 2, also on PS3. You can’t get it yet. Apparently the deal is starting next week, and you’ll be able to get your free game some way that has not yet been revealed by Sony.
This is a cool deal, though. Free things are always appreciated, even if, as is the case with this deal, many folks probably already have the free item. It’s the thought that counts.
Cobalt’s not an easy game to describe. If I were forced to take a stab, I would say something like “Little Big Planet meets Minecraft, with guns.” The new game from Mojang AB is certainly a unique product, and during the first day of Minecon 2011, its developers took an eight-minute stab at explaining it. Here’s the information we gleaned:
* Side-scrolling gameplay
* Design of the world is still block-based, but with more detailed textures than Minecraft.
* Levels will be customizable, and players can design their own.
* Setting said to be some kind of “alien planet.”
* The player’s avatar is a strange-looking robot with large eyes; other avatars will also be available.
* World is populated with similarly strange enemies: fat, turkey-like birds that shoot feathers, smaller birds that “pick out your eyes,” and an army of adversarial robots who used to be allied with the player character.
* Gameplay centers around gunplay, unusual for a side-scrolling game. Instead of aiming, players will use the character’s dodge-roll to determine which direction they aim. After rolling, you’ll have to time your shot precisely to get it to go in the right direction.
* The game also features “bullet time” when danger approaches. Time slows down, enabling players to escape, shoot enemies, and even punch grenades back where they came from.
* The demo highlighted Survival Mode, which tasks players with, well, survival in a particular environment. To do this, they’ll have to collect weapons and ammo, as well as what is most likely “power,” judging by its lightning bolt symbol. Your power number is displayed below the robot at all times — it can be increased by dispatching enemies and exploring the environment, but when it reaches zero, you die.
Back in the nineties, it seemed like there was a new MechWarrior game every five minutes. The franchise has been dormant for many years, however, despite the enduring popularity of giant, heavily-armed mechanical exoskeletons.
In 2012, however, the original is back, courtesy of Piranha games’ forthcoming MechWarrior Online. The free-to-play title will feature futuristic BattleMech combat and a wealth of unlocks (including, we assume given the free-to-play, the dreaded microtransactions). The big new out of the Piranha camp this week is that the game will use CryENGINE 3, which powered the similarly mechanical carnage of Crytek’s Crysis 2 earlier this year. Stay tuned to GameFront for more coverage of MechWarrior Online — when the first screens hit of the engine in action, look for them here.
Guillermo Del Toro is still working on a video game, known as inSANE. It’s a horror game, of couse, and he promises Collider that it will be really gross.
We’re being really, really nasty in the game. We’re really trying a lot of stuff that I don’t think would even fly in the movies. It’s still two-and-a-half or three years away, though, because videogame development is so long.
Sounds great. Hurry that s–t up already, though. I need more new gross games in my life. Really need them. God, this had better not get an AO.
For more from Del Toro, check out the Collider interview.
We love our PC gaming hardware, so when the opportunity to review a fully assembled gaming PC presents itself, we jump on it. This time, we got to try out a Digital Storm Level 3 ODE PC. In an era where PC parts are availble from places like NewEgg and Amazon at reasonbale prices, would we find a reason to buy a pre-built PC?
One of the first worries when buying a pre-built PC is getting it delivered undamaged. This Digital Storm PC was delivered in an emormous box. Inside I found the tower encased in a sturdy cardboard frame. The internal components were protected by an expanding foam packages that kept everything in place.
Setup was simple. Once the internal foam package was removed and a few strips of tape pulled off, all that was required was to hook up peripherals, plug it in, and turn it on. For a guy who normally builds all his own PCs, it was a nice to change to doing any actual work.
Powering the system up, I was immediately struck by the complete lack of pre-installed nonsense on the system. The desktop was as clean as if I’d done the Windows installation myself. Anyone who’s ever bought a PC from the traditional outlets can attest to the amount of stuff that you have to spend time removing from the system before you’re happy with it.
As I began testing it, the thing that stood out was the amount of overclock Digital Storm had wrung out of the i7 2600K. Instead of the stock 3.4 GHz, this CPU was operating at a blazing fast 4.7 GHz, representing an increase of 38%. That’s of ton of overclock, and something that not every 2600K is capable of. Temperatures were rock soild thanks to the Corsair H70 liquid cooling built into the rig. The CPU idled at an average of 30C, and even under extended load (Battlefield 3 on Ultra) never rose above 55C or so.
When the first Max Payne 3 trailer hit in September, it gave us the broad strokes: Max is in Brazil, drinking too much and working security for some kind of shadowy capitalist. At the time, we discussed its most notable aspects (real cutscenes! no graphical novel panels?!), while Rockstar was busy providing additional information in the form of a pop-up video and an interview with Variety.
Today, a new trailer hit, giving fans a detailed look at the groundbreaking technology and design work that has gone into making the game. It’s a long clip, so pay attention — there’s lots to talk about.
One of the most under-appreciated parts of any gaming PC is the monitor. A quality monitor can be the difference between a good gaming experience and a great one. It’s not just a TV that you toss on top of your desk. With this in mind, we were excited to get to review a monitor that is something of a rarity: an IPS panel designed expressly for gaming.
The FORIS FS2332 is a brand new monitor from EIZO, a company that is well known for its high-quality IPS panels. Normally, they can be found in graphic design shops, photography and post-production companies, and even medical and air traffic control applications. The FORIS line is a departure for the company, targeting home entertainment and gaming markets.
Normally, gaming monitors are TN panels, since they have the fastest response times. If you’re not familiar with the different types of panels, here’s a quick rundown for you:
IPS (In-Plane Switching) – Excellent colors and viewing angles, slower response time
VA (Vertical Alignment) – Good colors and viewing angles, medium response time
TN (Twisted Nematic) – Average colors and viewing angles, fastest response time
Obviously, those are just the basics, but the short version is that the IPS panel represents the highest image quality of any LCD monitor. The tradeoff is that the response times are much slower, usually around 16ms. So, with an IPS panel in place of a TN, how would the FORIS stack up?
Raptr, that epic stats-compiling site over there, has come up with some interesting numbers that you will find compelling if you follow the Battlefield 3 vs. Modern Warfare 3 Internet War to End All Wars. Here we go. These are all Xbox 360 numbers, it should be pointed out.
Modern Warfare 3 players spent an average of 6.19 hours playing on launch day, as opposed to 4.45 hours by Battlefield 3 players on that game’s launch day.
Modern Warfare 3 players spent an average of 20.45 hours playing in that game’s first week, compared with 17.37 hours for Battlefield 3 players during that game’s first week.
Modern Warfare 3 accumulated more hours played in one week than Battlefield 3 did in three weeks.
53% of Battlefield 3 players are also playing Modern Warfare 3, and only 31% of Modern Warfare 3 plyers are playing Battlefield 3.
81% of Raptr users polled said they were more excited about Battlefield 3 than Modern Warfare 3.
So that’s all very interesting, and it just goes to illustrate Modern Warfare 3′s dominance in more ways than just money. Suck on that, BF3 fans. Your game is clearly inferior.
The Mass Effect 3 PC Collector’s Edition has been listed by GameStop, and while it’s a physical copy of the game, it includes (almost) all the same stuff in the “exclusive” digital deluxe edition on Electronic Arts’ Origin service. So it appears the “exclusive” part of that is the ability to download it, rather than pick it up from GameStop. And not a lot else.
Anyway, a listing on the retailer’s website includes the full run-down of crap you’ll receive in the box.
For your $80, here’s the physical crap that’s on offer:
Premium metal case featuring male and female Commander Shepard
70-page hardbound art book
Limited edition Mass Effect comic by Dark Horse Comics
Fabric N7 patch
Exclusive 4×6 lithographic print of the SR-2 Alliance Normandy
And here’s the purely digital stuff you’ll receive.
N7 Arsenal Pack – Bring the firepower with the N7 Sniper Rifle, Shotgun, SMG, and Pistol.
Squad alternate appearance pack
Robotic Dog for on board the Normandy
Mass Effect 3 digital soundtrack
A quick comparison to the Origin page for the PC digital deluxe version of ME3 finds that most of the stuff listed is available in both versions, but if you buy from GameStop, you get that cloth N7 patch. Both editions include the robotic dog, though — don’t worry.
Meanwhile, the Origin version includes the digital N7 Hoodie for Commander Shepard to wear and a bunch of avatar pics and the like that can be used in Origin’s forums.
Also worth noting: a “4×6 lithograph” is a postcard. Or at least, it’s postcard-sized. So be prepared to find a small frame.
We snapped that photo at MineCon when we were looking at the Xbox 360 edition of Minecraft. “Getting Wood” is the achievement you get for adding wood to your inventory for the first time. Very clever, Mojang.
A year ago, we gave a very tepid review to Goldeneye 007, Activision’s Wii-exclusive reboot/relaunch of the N64 Classic. I was somewhat disappointed to read the review, that is until I played the game for myself, at which point I realized, if anything, that the review wasn’t tepid enough.
As someone who spent countless hours playing the original Goldeneye 007, I wanted to love the Wii remake (Wiimake?). The story was a smart update that captured some of the flavor of the original, and the voice cast was excellent. But the game itself was hobbled by the Wii’s horrid graphics capabilities and processing power. Worse (from a player-perspective), Wii’s awful, gimicky control scheme guaranteed a frustrating experience that even the Wii Classic controller couldn’t fix. I never even bothered to beat it.
I can’t say Activision agrees with me that their product wasn’t up to snuff, but they must have had some inkling, because they very quickly decided to reboot the game again, this time for the consoles that don’t suck. That game, Goldeneye 007 Reloaded, out now for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, has the same re-imagined story and excellent voice cast, but now it also has full HD, some new features that bring the game more fully into the modern shooter era, and most importantly, a vastly improved control scheme.
GOG.com wants to be the second-biggest supplier of digital PC games in the industry, and while offering old-ass games for good prices is nice, it isn’t necessarily helping the service expand.
So GOG is going to increase its plans to bring new releases to its DRM-free distribution portal, in addition to continuing to supply the “good old games” for which the service is known, according to a story from Eurogamer. That’ll put it on-pace to compete with steam and EA’s new portal, Origin, but it’ll also mean a new, higher price point for new games.
The service will continue to offer its games DRM-free, including the new ones, and GOG says it’ll bring some 400 new games to its library by the end of 2012. The success of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings showed seems to have showed the service that people want DRM-free titles (you could only get The Witcher 2 DRM-free on GOG), so it stands to reason that expanding in that direction will bring in more customers.
We’ve been hearing rumors out the wazoo about the next Xbox, and some folks are wondering if maybe Halo 4 will be a launch title for the new system, being the platform family’s flagship franchise. Not so, says 343 bigwig Frank O’Connor on NeoGAF.
Halo 4 will be on Xbox 360 and use a modified core of the Halo engine(s).
So there. That’s just how it’s gonna be, I guess. That’s fine, given that the most recent Xbox Next rumors put it as a 2013 launch anyway. Not surprising.
Minecraft 1.0 was just released from Minecon 2011, and while the game has been available in its beta form for a while now, it has also undergone a huge number of changes in going from beta to full release.
Rather than belabor the point, I’ve just decided to post the full list of new changes, care of Minecraft Wiki. Hit the original if you want to see even more detailed information, including footnotes and citations for all these items. There’s a lot there.
Keep up with all our Minecon 2011 coverage right here.
What’s New in Minecraft 1.0:
* New achievements
* Amount of Experience Orbs dropped by a player on death now limited.
* The ability of Endermen to carry blocks reduced in some way.
* New Monster Spawner texture.
* Ghast fireballs have a different texture.
* On death, a proper score is given based on how many experience orbs the player has collected.
* When flowing lava hits a water source directly from above, it creates Stone where previously the lava would flow through the water.
* You can toggle between three states when pressing F5 (first person, third person back, third person front), having the addition of 3rd person view from the front.
* Ender Pearls have a unique ability. When thrown, the player will teleport to the Ender Pearl’s impact location, but take 2 and 1/2 hearts of fall damage. They will not work in Creative.
Nordic Games recently bought publisher JoWood, who owned Painkiller‘s publisher Dreamcatcheer. Now, Nordic has announced that they will be relaunching Dreamcatcher as a separate publishing label under Nordic.
What does this mean for Painkiller? Well, it means something. Gamasutra says Nordic specifically named Painkiller, and Safecracker, as being a part of the Dreamcatcher relaunch. I don’t know if they means they’re going to make new games or just revive old ones, but it’s something.
But it would be cool if they were to bring back Painkiller in one way or anything. We do love our Painkiller. And I don’t just say that because I’m addicted to my pills. I’m joking!
So EA has given a statement to RPS in response to their report the other day that getting banned on the EA forums will prevent you from playing games on Origin. The statement is almost frightening in that it doesn’t seem to address the issue at all. Read this:
With every game and service EA offers, we take the satisfaction of our customers very seriously. We discourage cheating and strive to maintain a high level of integrity in both our games and our forums. Therefore when someone violates our Terms of Service, we are forced to take actions that can include suspensions and other measures. We do not take those decisions lightly – however the integrity of our services and the satisfaction of our customers requires a clear set of rules.
We have listened to our customers and are planning a policy update which will include more equitable rules on suspensions – we want to make sure the time fits the crime. As with all technology updates, these changes take some time to implement. Meanwhile, we urge any user with a question about suspensions or our policies to please contact us at (866) 543-5435 so we can address their specific situation.
John Carmack and id Software intend to release Doom 3‘s engine as open-source code to the benefit of everyone. It’s just taking a little longer than expected.
When id ran the open source idea past its lawyers for the final green light, an issue popped up with a bit of technology used in the game known as “Carmack’s Reverse.” That code helps to render shadows in Doom 3, but it wasn’t created solely by Carmack — instead, lots of programmers had a hand in it and it ultimately became the property of Creative Labs. A deal allowed id to use the tech for free in Doom 3.
But the suits in the legal department over at id (or Bethesda) aren’t sure it’s a good idea to release the Doom source code with Carmack’s Reverse still included, since id doesn’t own it. So before the release can be made, which Carmack mentioned back at Quakecon 2011, he’s rewriting some of the code.
Just what Carmack is coding, we’re not sure. He said back in 2004 that not using Carmack’s Reverse for shadows in Doom 3 would have resulted in a performance hit, so hopefully he has come up with some similar solution in the intervening years. Meanwhile, it’ll be just a little longer before Doom 3′s code becomes free to all.
Rockstar Games just kicked us a fresh trailer for Max Payne 3, but rather than be all cinematic with it, the company decided instead to appeal to the video game nerd in all of us.
The following trailer is about four minutes of talking about the changes in technology that go into the look, feel, aesthetic and movement capabilities of Max Payne 3. Rockstar says it’s going for the precision of a first-person shooter, with the character development of a third — so it’s basically creating a ton of animations for Max and for enemies in order to make moving and shooting fluid, realistic, and awesome-looking.
The trailer explains it better. Check it out below.
Though the big news coming out of Minecon was the long-awaited and finally-here launch of Minecraft 1.0, the lengthy peek into Mojang’s next original game, Scrolls, grabbed our attention handily.
I had the chance to attend Minecon’s The Art Of Gaming panel for a lively discussion of how developers make the games we love look just right, and the Scrolls artistic team – Art Director Markus Toivonen, and artists Henrik Pettersson and Mattis Grahm – were on hand for a fairly detailed (and hilarious) look into the still-ongoing development of the game. Oxeye Game Studio, developers of Cobalt, were also present, represented by ‘Kinten’; He didn’t get the chance to discuss Cobalt in great detail, but he was able to offer some interesting insight into the process of creating art for games.
As befits a game only announced early this year and developed by the company that brought us Minecraft, the Scrolls development process is still very ad-hoc. “We still don’t even know how the final game is going look”, Toivonen made clear, particularly at this early point. However, they insisted that this is all according to plan and applicable to the development of both Scrolls and Cobalt. “The number one trap” artists working in games need to avoid, according to Kinten, is expectations. “You don’t have to set out to make everything look AAA,” he said, adding that artists should “set your goals to what is reasonable.”
Minecon 2011 just wrapped up with a few giveaways, a successful marriage proposal and a video of everything we that just happened during the last few days. And while, sadly, Minecon has come to a close, we’ve still got more Minecrafty, Mojang-ulous goodness in the pipe.
Our Vegas ground team, composed of Ross Lincoln and Dave Moss, just posted their impressions of Minecraft for Xbox 360, and they have even more goodness from the convention floor that they haven’t even had time to write yet.
Keep checking back right here for full Game Front Minecon 2011 coverage, where we’ll be continuing to post stories through the weekend and into next week.
Until then, here are a few photos from the closing ceremonies for you to enjoy, including a few of the newly engaged couple mentioned above.
GameFront is on the scene at MineCon 2011, and during the Q&A period of tonight’s Mojang Panel, our on-site writers Ross Lincoln and Dave Moss asked the Scrolls developers if the lawsuit Bethesda had filed against the use of the name “Scrolls” has caused a roadblock. From the sound of it, things are full steam ahead for our favorite indie developer.
Q: Scrolls–Has the lawsuit with Bethesda affected anything? Will you have you change the name? Is everything ok with that?
A: Well, define “ok.” The lawsuit doesn’t really affect us, so no. We keep working on the game. It hasn’t delayed the game. We actually won the first instance. So for now the name of “Scrolls” is safe.
Mojang won one battle, but the legal war isn’t over. However, the developers asserted that “We do the developing; the lawyers do the lawyering,” so development on the upcoming title will continue unfettered.
The first review of the just-about-to-be-released Minecraft 1.0 is out, and it appears to reinforce the fact that everyone seems to love Minecraft.
Eurogamer got the first crack at the completed version of the game. Spoiler alert: they gave it a 10/10 perfect review. You can read the full text here, but here’s a quick highlight:
“Minecraft is a towering achievement in the very possibilities of gaming, and it does this without losing itself to either esoterica or cynicism. It is a game anyone can play and anyone can get something out of, no matter how skilled or imaginative they are. They will make something and they will have an experience that feels like theirs and theirs alone.”
At the MineCon keynote address just minutes ago, Notch pulled a giant switch that set Minecraft 1.0 free, finally. It is here, and it is live.
Of course, if you try to download it from the web you might have trouble, as they’re having server issues right now with 4 million people trying to download the game all at once. But you can still get it through the Minecraft client; that’s what has worked for us, anyway.
So get to it. Here’s guessing you’ll be spending your entire weekend exploring and figuring out just what there is to see in this new edition of the game. That’s probably what I’m going to do, anyway.
I’m sitting here with a copy of Need for Speed: The Run right here next to me, and I’m just about to boot it up. But before I did that, I wanted to get myself pumped up for it one last time, and this launch trailer certainly gets the job done. Yeah!
Need for Speed: The Run
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Reviewed on Xbox 360
Developer: EA Black Box
Release date: November 15, 2011
MSRP: $59.99 (consoles), $49.99 (PC)
Need for Speed: The Run has a good concept. It’s a traditional racing game, with perfectly linear tracks, but it has a story. That’s a rare thing, because pretty much any other non-open world racer will give you only context-free racing. And that’s fine, but it’s nice to have a racer with ambition.
It’s a nice idea, anyway. In execution, The Run’s story is barely there, and it’s merely an excuse to put you in races set all over the United States. Again, though, I feel like that’s probably fine. It certainly works as a travelogue, if nothing else.
The Run tells the story of a guy named Jack Rourke, who is on the the run, literally, from the mob, to whom he owes some large sum of money. Enter Sam, a woman with money, who wants to help Jack out by putting him in a cross-country race called The Run. Jack thinks this is a good idea, and so he jumps in eagerly.
I say the story is barely there, and that’s certainly true. There are like four or five cutscenes, total, in the game, and each of these lasts about maybe thirty seconds. And they aren’t all important to the story. One, for example, shows Jack getting gas and looking at a hot girl. Another has Jack walk down the street and look at some cars.
You know what I want? To play Prototype 2. That is all.
This developer diary for that game delves into the city’s different zones. Here, New York is broken up into three sections: the green zone, where everything is “fine”; the yellow zone, where the military has everybody under lockdown and folks live in shanties; and the red zone, where everything is completely and utterly f–k up.
In the video you’ll get to listen to some of the developers talk about these zones and what makes them interesting. It’s a good watch.
Recently Polyphony Digital’s Kazunori Yamauchi was at the Specialty Equipment Market Association trade show (for cars and stuff), and IGN asked him about the future of Gran Turismo. He said this.
Of course we’re working on GT6 already and I think what really will be the separating factor is something that we can’t update through a DLC [for GT5] is something that obviously has to be saved for GT6. Things that we can provide through DLC we will, so that’s really the market difference.
Working on the Gran Turismo is like Sisyphus’ labor; there’s always more to do, and you’ll only be able to rest when you’re dead, if you’re lucky enough to die, anyway. That’s the struggle.
Production on a Killzone title for the PS Vita is underway at Sony Cambridge, but that’s not the only new Killzone game in production, if the new issue of Edge is to be believed. They say: “the bulk of Guerrilla’s staff (is soldiering) on with the next Killzone installment.”
That is to be expected, of course; at this point, Killzone is one of Sony’s flagship properties, and so they’ll keep making them as long as they’re making money. Also, Killzone 3 ended on a cliffhanger, and so they’ve got to make at least one more. They’re like legally obligated.
(We in the industry call that a “joke.”)
Anyway, the question now is: will this new Killzone be on the PS3 or the PS4? It will probably be a long time before we find that out.
Capcom’s Nintendo 3DS addition to the long-running Resident Evil series includes online cooperative multiplayer — but you can’t access it until you’ve fought through the game’s 10-hour single-player campaign.
That’s the story according to Andriasang, based on a retailer briefing Nintendo gave today. Resident Evil: Revelations Producer Masachika Kawata said the game’s Raid mode will be locked until the single-player portion is completed. From the sounds of things, that makes sense, inasmuch as Raid mode is a reworking of levels from the main story that players can attack alone or with a partner.
Raid mode also includes secondary characters from the story mode, so it sounds like Capcom is holding back multiplayer in order to keep you from spoiling Revelations’ story for yourself. Unfortunately, this means you’ll need to clear a weekend to prep Revelations for launch before you can take it on with a friend.
Saints Row: The Third is out now. I’ve spent about an hour with it, and I was surprised at just how f–king bats–t crazy it is. But you don’t care what I think; here’s what the reviews are saying:
Official Xbox Magazine — 9.5
Feels like a game whose designers have found the note-perfect tone for the series while also wielding their own talents with razor-sharp precision. It’s the game Volition – a studio whose successes go back 15 years to the original Descent – was born to make.
GameFront — 90/100
Saints Row: The Third isn’t the best game of the year. It hurts to say that, because one wants one’s favorite thing to be the best thing also, but OK, it’s not the best game. However, it is absolutely glorious, and for all its faults, it’s always fun and always insane. Buy it. Buy it now. In fact, stop reading this review and open your wallet, OK?
The Escapist — 4.5 stars
Steelport is a glorious sandbox with fun around every corner and the well-written story and easy-to-use design make Saints Row 3 a fantastic package.
Game Informer — 9.0
As much as the game made me laugh, it wouldn’t deserve such high praise without solid gameplay at its core. It may be easy to get distracted by the nonsense occurring onscreen, but Saints Row: The Third is thrilling as an action game. Missions vary wildly, and they’re almost all bombastic, popcorn-movie affairs.
GameSpot — 8.5
Fantastic missions, outrageous weapons, and awesome vehicles make the open-world mayhem of Saints Row: The Third an absolute blast.
The press packet for Saints Row: The Third promised that every mission, no matter what, would have a “holy Sh** moment”, a big, memorable, over-the-top scene guaranteed to wow the player and make them laugh out loud at the same time. The marketing has had the same theme, promising again and again that whatever else the game may be, it will be absurd, exaggerated, morally deplorable and, in every way that counts, the thematic opposite of the Grand Theft Auto games the Saints Row series initially cloned. I am happy to report that Saints Row: The Third is every bit as completely ridiculous as promised.
Think of it like the video game equivalent of kids wondering if Batman could beat up Luke Skywalker while having sex with She-Ra, and then actually drawing the comic making the case. Every single moment in the game – even the boring moments – feels like the developers were sitting around brainstorming the craziest stuff they could think of and then asking a 5 year old pyromanic to poke holes in it. The result is a violent, vulgar, profane to the extreme camp masterpiece that is difficult to believe until you play it.
It may not be be *best* game of 2011 – to claim otherwise would be to risk a flogging from angry Skyrim fans – but it is my favorite, and absolutely the most fun I’ve had all year.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is the best console game I’ve ever played on PC.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Between the Elder Scrolls series and its adoption of the Fallout franchise, Bethesda has established itself as a leading name in open-world, singleplayer RPGs. Skyrim had big shoes to fill — shoes worn by giants who propel you into the stratosphere with a single swat of their tree-trunk clubs.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: PC (Reviewed), PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Released: November 11, 2011
In the fifth installment of The Elder Scrolls, we visit Skyrim, the northernmost region of Tamriel and harsh motherland of the Nords. With the recent assassination of the High King of Skyrim, the kingdom stands on the brink of civil war. You’ve somehow become implicated with the rebels, because the game begins with you being led to your execution, alongside rebel prisoners.
But just as the axe is about to be brought down on your neck, a Deus Ex Machina intervenes in the form of a thousand pounds of winged, fire-breathing muscle and sinew — a dragon. You make your escape in the ensuing chaos and embark on a quest that eventually leads you to discover that you are Dragonborn, the key to defeating the newly awakened dragons that have been springing up throughout the land.
We heard last month that Sony was working on a way to make it so you could pay to download your PSP UMD games to your shy new PS Vita for a price, and it looks like that’s going to happen. Dubbed the UMD Passport program, this effort will somehow allow you to register your UMD games with the PlayStation Network, and then you’ll be able to download them for a small price. In Japanese money it’s like between $7 and $13, depending on the game. So that’s not horrible, I guess.
It won’t work with every game. Sony says some 200 games from 40 companies will be compatible with the program, and you can bet only games that you can already buy for full price from PSN will work with it.
So that’s not bad, right? It’s not like they’re packaging two games together and charging you $40 for them, right? This is better than that, right? Oh wait.
Stardock used to be the people behind the Impulse PC game download service. Used to be. They sold that crap off to GameStop, and now they’re on Steam.
Stardock’s 4x space strategy game Sins of a Solar Empire: Trinity was released on Steam today, and they say more of their offerings will be making their way to the platform in the coming weeks. Other Stardock games include Galactic Civilizations, Elemental: War of Magic and Demigod.
In addition to Steam, Stardock will be making their games available on other platforms, too. Hooray for choices.
In the meantime, you can pick up Sins of a Solar Empire: Trinity, which includes the game’s expansion packs, on Steam for $14.99 right now, which is 25% off. Cool.
We love Saints Row: The Third. Really, like, a lot. Profane, violent, stupid, ridiculous, it’s hours of nothing but fun and funny stuff. It’s the kind of game made by fans, for fans and I can’t get enough. But you know what would make it better? Modding tools. If only there were already some available.
Oh wait, there are. Saints Row modder Minimaul, who in the past has made Saints Row 2 tools available, has already posted tools for modding Saints Row: The Third. They’re based on Gibbed’s tools, and they incude source code, an installer and a package extractor. Here’s a more detailed guide.
One might suggest that a game with a dildo-slash-baseball bat can’t get any crazier, but I beg to differ. Prove them wrong, modders. Make me a full nude version of SR3.
Is there a Guinness record for most blood shown in a game trailer? If there is, that record should probably go to this trailer for Serious Sam 3: BFE, which is composed entirely of shots of things being ripped open or blasted apart. It’s really quite a profound trailer. I, for one, could watch this thing all day.
Black Friday is coming up soon, and to help with your planning I have compiled a list of most of the big deals that you’ll be able to find in a physical retail store. I’ll post digital deals when we hear about them. On to the list.
160gb Holiday bundle with LittleBigPlanet 2 and Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One — $199 at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Radio Shack, Target, Meijer, Toys R Us and Sears
4GB console with Gears of War 3 and 3 months of Live an a $50 gift card — $199 at Wal-Mart (online)
4gb Kinect bundle — $199 at Wal-Mart ($50 gift card), Radio Shack and Toys R Us
4gb Kinect bundle — $209 at Sears
250gb Holiday Bundle with Fable III and Halo: Reach and 3 months of Live — $199 at Best Buy and Sam’s
4gb console — $139 at Target
4gb console — $149 at GameStop
4gb console with Modern Warfare 3 — $199 at KMart
Kinect with Kinect Adventures and The Gunstringer and Wipeout 2 — $99 at Toys R Us
Kinect with Kinect Adventures — $99 at Best Buy and Wal-Mart
Wii console — $99 at Wal-Mart, Sam’s and Meijer
3DS with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time — $179 at Best Buy, $199 at GameStop
3DS with Super Mario 3D Land — $179 at Best Buy and Target
3DS with Super Mario 3D Land — $199 at KMart and Sears
PSP-3000 core — $99 at Wal-Mart, KMart and Meijer
PSP-3000 core with Ape Escape or WipeOut Pure — $99 at Toys R Us
Halo 2: Heroes Never Die - The Halo: Anniversary Live Action Trailer
Like with Halo 3, ODST, and Reach before it, a live action trailer has surface for Halo Anniversary.
This trailer, is essentially a tribute to all the UNSC personel who lost their lives on Harvest, Reach and in New Mombasa.
More than that, like with the Halo Reach light momument that was created during Halo Reach's launch, you are now able to leave your mark on the "living monument".
I am already uploading one of my own screenshots to the monument. Upload any of your screenshots from your years within the Halo verse, and have it live on in cyber history.
Halo Anniversary launches tomorrow, on it's 10th birthday (Nov 15th). Here is my gamertag, incase anyone would like to celebrate the rebirth of a legend.
(GT: Mr TehLegend)
Also, if you are not interested in getting the game tomorrow, a special map pack will available tomorrow on Xbox Live for Halo Reach, which allows you to play the updated Combat Evolved maps in Reach, without having to buy Halo Anniversary, though I don't see why you wouldn't buy Anniversary.
I must apologise for the lateness of this announcement, but I have been mulling over this for the last month, while trying to get reviews and other things done around the site, as I am currently the only one here! So things have been rather slow I’m afraid.
Anyway you are probably wondering that happened to our recent 'Planets of Our Solar System' mapping contest... Well, the truth is that despite several (5 I think?) excellent maps that were under construction for the contest, only one was completed and submitted.
Yes, that is right, we only got ONE submission and that was from TurqouiseDragon, which he is to be commended for! Despite the interest in the contest, for whatever reason none of the other maps were finished. Therefore I have decided to reopen the contest for another two months, to run alongside our current Weapon Modelling Contest.
Hopefully this will give the other contestants time to finish their maps if they want to, and give anyone else a chance to map a map to enter into the contest! The contest will reopen tomorrow Friday 18th November and run till January 15th 2012!
An overview of the rules is below. Please read the information carefully, as it is very important.
The JKFiles 'Planets of Our Solar System' Contest will reopen tomorrow Friday 18th November!
The map must be created by the entrant. You may only submit your own work!
You must follow the JKFiles submission guidelines as normal.
Please do not use models or textures ported from other games.
Your map MUST be a Small/Medium sized FFA map, for obvious time and practicality reasons.
Your map can be for either Jedi Academy or Jedi Outcast.
You MUST include [CONTEST] before your maps name in the name section when submitting your entry, to avoid confusion and possible accidental disqualification, since we may upload your map thinking it is a normal submission.
The Contest will run till January 15th 2012!.
The theme for this contest is The Planets of Our Solar System. That said, you are not limited to just the main 9 planets (8 if you listen to scientists and consider Pluto a 'dwarf' pfft...) you are free to use other bodies in our Solar System as locations, such as dwarf planets/Kuiper Belt objects such as Eris and Sedna, asteroids, moons of any of the planets or even space stations orbiting the said planets (or the sun) should you so wish!
If you need any info or inspiration, Google or Wikipedia are excellent sources of photographs from space probes and landers as well as lists of bodies in our Solar System and information on them!
In the interests of fairness and continuity, if you wish to make a space station orbiting a planet you must include the planet in your skybox, otherwise said space station could be considered to be anywhere!
You may include the source files (.map etc.) in your .zip file if you so wish, however these will be uploaded along with your map if you choose to include them in your .zip file, so please think carefully before you decide whether to include them!
The files will only be posted after the contest deadline, and will only have a brief summary rather than a review to avoid biasing the voters. All maps will be fully re-reviewed once the contest has finished.
If you need any help or have any questions, don’t forget to check out our JKA Mapping and Modding Forums, or send me a PM via the forums (as we still have not gotten our new Site Email Address yet!)